Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism (IDIPT) in the state worth USD 95 million is being aided by the ADB, an official of the tourism department said.
Projects worth Rs 210 crore were approved by ADB under Tranche-1 of IDIPT and 20 infrastructure development projects are being executed by the state tourism and civil aviation department in four districts of Shimla, Kangra, Una and Bilaspur, the official said.
The state government has also submitted proposals of various tourist circuits/destinations projects worth Rs 26 crore to the centre seeking financial assistance, he added.
These circuits proposed include Rs 5 crore project for integrated development of Una-Nadaun as a tourist destination, Rs 8 crore integrated development of Buddhist destinations, Rs 8 crore integrated development of Shimla-Suburbs and Rs 5 crore integrated development of tourist transit zones.
Some other major projects include restoration of Town Hall and beautification of Mall Road at Shimla, development of Tourist Reception Centre and parking at Chintpurni and development of Jetty, camping sites, tracks and bird watching towers in Pong Dam area.
Focus on adventure tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, rural tourism or eco-tourism has helped in attracting more tourists to the state in last few years, the official said.
He said over 1.51 crore tourists including 4,14,249 foreign tourists visited the state in 2013, while 1.61 crore tourists including five lakh foreign tourists in 2012.
"During the current year 83 lakh tourists, including about 1.93 lakh international tourists, visited the state till June 30. Himachal Pradesh has 2377 registered hotels/guest house with bed capacity of about 61,236," he said.
In order to encourage private entrepreneurs for setting up of tourism units, the state government is providing incentive of 15 per cent capital investment subsidy on tourism units subject to maximum Rs 50 lakh and the incentive scheme would be effective till March 31, 2017.
Further, the new hotel units being set up in tribal areas are exempted from luxury tax for a period of 10 years with effect from April 1, 2012 and similar incentives have been provided to units being set up in backward Panchayats.

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